Many years ago, I innocently showed up at a workplace event with “those oven eggs” and hash brown casserole. From then on, I was expected to bring these dishes every time there was a celebration. Days before an occasion, I was confronted at the water cooler. “Are you bringing ‘those oven eggs’ to the potluck? The hash browns, too?”

I dared not say no; there would have been a riot.

“Those oven eggs” are wonderfully versatile whether you add diced ham, crumbled cooked sausage or bacon, chopped vegetables or serve them up unembellished. You can also substitute just egg whites for half the eggs and use reduced-fat cheese. I like a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack the best, but have also employed pepper jack, mozzarella, Feta and even goat cheese. When you read the recipe, you may think that’s a lot of cheese. Just go with it. You won’t be sorry.

Cooking time depends somewhat on any additions. When the eggs start to go golden on the edges and the middle is firming up, get them out of the oven. And, I ask you, what goes with those oven eggs better than oven hash browns fancied up with crushed Corn Flakes, sour cream and more cheese?

A pile of crispy bacon, that’s what, followed by Cousin Donna’s Baked French Toast. Now I have three standards as far as breakfast casseroles are concerned. I still carry them to pot lucks, but most recently prepared the trio for what we call Jazz Brunch.

Since my home oven isn’t spacious enough to bake these three goodies all at once, I start the eggs in the cold oven as recommended alongside the hash browns. When the egg dish is done, I simply cover it with foil and let it rest on the back of the stove; the French toast slides in next to the hash browns. When everything else is done, the oven eggs can then be sliced, cut into squares or even made into shapes with a cookie cutter, much to the delight of the grandchildren.

It’s not that we indulge in cheesy eggs, potatoes baked in a pint of sour cream and fluffy French toast doused with maple syrup every weekend, but when we do, it’s a formula for lots of energy-to-burn. We dance to jazz music, walk to the Point, and kick the soccer ball around — the naps come afterward.

I can’t think of a finer way to spend a Sunday in November.

Those Oven Eggs
16 oz. shredded cheese

2 (4-oz.) cans chopped green chilies, drained

1 dozen eggs

3 tbsp. plain yogurt or sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tomato, thinly sliced (optional)

Salsa, sour cream and cilantro for garnish, optional

Combine cheese, chilies and other additions, if using, in a bowl then spread in a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish. Beat eggs and yogurt together and pour over cheese then stir gently with a fork so some of the eggs go through to the bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, place in a cold oven and set at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Add tomato slices on top, if using, and continue baking for 20-30 minutes until eggs are close to firm and beginning to brown at the edges. Serve with garnishes if desired. Yield: 10 servings

Hash Brown Casserole
1 (1 lb., 14 oz.) pkg. frozen hash browns

3/4 cup butter, melted and divided

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 can cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup

1 pint sour cream

2 cups shredded cheese

2 cups Corn Flakes, crushed

Thaw hash browns and combine in a large bowl with 1/2 cup melted butter, salt and pepper. Stir in soup, sour cream and cheese. Spread mixture in a 9×13-inch buttered baking dish. Mix crushed cereal with 1/4 cup melted butter then spread over potatoes. Cover and refrigerate overnight or bake immediately.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Yield: 10 servings

Donna’s Baked French Toast
1 large loaf French or Italian bread

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. sugar

2 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup flour

6 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup butter

1 1/2 cups berries, chopped apples, chopped fresh peaches or other fruit of your choice

Cut bread into cubes and place in a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish. Combine eggs, vanilla, sugar and milk in a large glass measuring cup and pour over bread, flipping pieces over to coat with milk mixture thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate over-night.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Turn bread pieces over again. Fruit can be folded in or just added on top. Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter to make a crumble topping. Sprinkle over bread and fruit. Bake for 45-60 minutes until soft and bubbling. Serve with maple syrup. Yield: 10 servings